Okay! The third party votes! We know that the Libertarians got 3% in 2016 and that is the most that they'd ever gotten (John Anderson got 1% in 1980).

So the question is: Where do Johnson voters go in 2020?

I'm running this through my simulator and see some of them going to Trump, yes. I assume that a lot of them were Republican voters who wanted to cast a protest vote without casting it to Clinton. But a lot of them were Bernie voters who wanted to cast a protest vote without casting it to Trump.

And the remaining ones will be voting for Vermin Supreme.

I don't know how to measure who is who in that 3%, though and which candidate will be helped the most by them wandering back home.

One of the things that people might be over-weighting is that Minnesota had Trump winning for 20 minutes on Election Night 2016 (before Minneapolis-St. Paul came in).

And so, for 20 minutes, people said "WAIT WHAT?" and I still remember Kohole making the joke "YOU HAD ONE JOB".

Now, of course, Minneapolis-St. Paul will go for Generic Democrat and, as such, Minnesota will go for whomever the Democrats are running. But, man, those 20 minutes!

(I imagine that there will be a stink made about Ilhan Omar and whether he'll be able to bait her into saying something useful to his ad campaign in her district, which she is likely to win again.)

Oooh! It occurred to me to count up electoral votes!

171 electoral votes! Tossed up! (Not counting Wisconsin.)

Of those 171, 133 went to Trump.
38 of the toss-ups went to Clinton.

And that's not counting Wisconsin.

*I* think that "maybe I'm fooling myself" is one of the things that would be very, very, very important to eliminate as a possibility.

But I'm all about me.

So we agree that I wasn't saying that the polling was wrong?


So when it comes to having any given candidate low, I'd say that the ideal situation is to have polling be spot on in about half of the states (like, within .3%, either way) and split between more than that for one candidate and more than that for the other.

Because if we've got a situation where even our aggregate polls had Trump low in more than a statistically appropriate number of states, we are in a situation where many different things could be happening that include such awful outcomes as "people are lying" and "we're making a mistake in our polling".

I'm pleased that we agree that we're not making mistakes in our polling. Our polling is great!

So we just have to hammer out if people are lying to pollsters and if we're polling Trump low to a degree that indicates that something has gone wrong somewhere.

Here's from RCP's "Toss Ups"
Florida (29)
Ohio (18)
Michigan (16)
Pennsylvania (20)
New Hampshire (4)
Maine CD2 (1)
Maine (2)
North Carolina (15)
Virginia (13)
Georgia (16)
Colorado (9)
Nevada (6)
New Mexico (5)
Arizona (11)
Iowa (6)

Toss-up tells me that, hey, half of these should go to Trump, the other half should go to Clinton. And let's give us some wiggle room. There are 15 on there, we should give ourselves wiggle room. So it's not only 7-8 or 8-7 that should have us say "it worked" but 9-6 or 6-9 (nice). Would 10-5 have us worry?

So let's look at the Toss-ups on the 270 to Win Map.

Florida (29) - Trump
Ohio (18) - Trump
Michigan (16) -Trump
Pennsylvania (20) -Trump
New Hampshire (4) - Clinton
Maine CD2 (1) - Clinton
Maine (2) - Trump
North Carolina (15) - Trump
Virginia (13) - Clinton
Georgia (16) - Trump
Colorado (9) - Clinton
Nevada (6) - Clinton
New Mexico (5) -Clinton
Arizona (11) - Trump
Iowa (6) - Trump

So out of 15 toss-ups. we've got 9-6 going to Trump.

Oh, and one "leans blue" in Wisconsin doing so.

If we included the leans-blue-goes-red, we could say that it was 10-6 wins for the toss-ups.

I admit. When I started writing the above, I assumed 11-5.

But 10-6 is something that I expect would be very, very, very easy to repeat.

And talk ourselves into the position that we're not.

Your point is, as best I can tell, “All the polls showed Clinton winning and all the pundits and analysts said Trump had very little chance, but he won. ERGO the polls were wrong”.


My point is that the polling might be spot on this time the same way they were spot on last time and we will, once again, explain that the polls were good and we were right to expect the Democratic candidate to not lose, even if it didn't turn out that way, and so, no, we still have no lessons to learn from this.

And we'd question why someone would want us to.

And while I appreciate you explaining that over and over again, I don't disagree with it.

I am not saying that they got the election "wrong". They didn't. The outcome was within their margin of error.

Getting within the margin of error is great!

It's when the outcome is within the margin of error but every single poll was on the same side of that margin without any of them being on the other side of that margin, that'd I'd say "huh... shouldn't some of these have been on the other side of the margin of error"?

Now, please. Explain to me again that I'm not paying attention to what you're saying.

Then I can say that I am but I'm making a different point than the one you're responding to.

A lot fewer than those who vote for keeping the status quo, I tell you what.

Only a small group of people ever see the fist of injustice.

This seems like as good an outcome as could be hoped for, outside of heaven.

Well, good luck with exhausting all other options, then.

The wacky thing about the margin of error is that it's a margin and things should fall on either side of it.

You are acting like the pollsters got it wrong. No, they were fairly accurate. Dead on nationally, and within MoE of the tightest swing states despite a late break towards Trump.

No, I'm acting like none of them got it right. Like, even ACCIDENTALLY.

And if I remember 2016 correctly, one of the things people were worried about was Clinton winning the EC but Trump winning the Popular vote. Remember that? It's why Clinton sent teams from Michigan to Illinois.

They even reference it in the SNL/Chappelle skit where they're watching the returns.

I'm not upset that any given poll said that Clinton was going to win and it was within the margin of error. Hey, the actual result being within the margin of error is *PRETTY GOOD*!

It's when all of the polls are within the margin of error but none of them predicted the outcome (which was within the margin of error) that I'd say "Hold up... shouldn't 10% of my polls have guessed that this thing that had a 10% chance of happening would happen?"

I'm not saying "we can't trust the polls!"

I'm saying if every single one of the polls said that Clinton was going to win (but was within the margin of error) and Trump, instead, won, then I'd want to know why none of my polls predicted that Trump would win (but still be within the margin of error) and if none of my polls said that, then I'd say that something went very, very wrong somewhere.

Even if all of my polls were within the margin of error.

1 in 10 is, indeed, pretty small odds. If I had 40 polls, I'd expect only 3-5 of them to indicate that he'd win.

What did the last budget the House sent up do wrt military spending?

Do you think we should look at cutting Social Security and Medicare?

I didn't see where you mentioned this point above.

I'm not complaining about the polls being wrong. Of *COURSE* there is a margin of error! Of course it's awesome if the actual results are within it!

It's when they all are away from the actual results in the same direction that I would ask what is going on.

Out of the polls that are your favorites, how many of them picked Trump to, narrowly, win?

Given the win he got, I'd say that you'd want somewhere between 20% and 33% of them to have picked a Trump win.

If *I* were a boomer, I'd talk about fairness and whatnot. The importance of keeping promises.

The thing that should worry you about the polling being spot on last time is that where the polls were wrong, they were all wrong in the same direction.

(I'd also watch out for "maybe I was wrong, but I was right to be wrong!" kinda thinking.)

They should means test social security. I mean, Baby Boomers have more wealth than the rest of the country's generations combined. I don't know why we need to take money out of the pockets of poor brown people just so the baby boomers can buy another pack of gourmet lobster.

In this very thread, I talked about how Biden struck me as likely to win the election, were he to go up against Trump.

But, when I run this through my simulation, I see that you are merely making an error of fact when I am making a gross moral error by not spending a couple of paragraphs talking about how morally offensive I find Trump.

So, with that in mind, I'll ask: Hey, when you look back at how you looked at the 2016 election before the fact, do you see if you made any errors? If so, what errors did you make? Have you changed how you think about 2020 in light of these errors?

Lee, Saul... I want you guys to know that you can email me these stories at and I will post them to Ten Second News with a title something like "From the Boston Globe: Northeastern student from Iran removed from US before court hearing, won’t be returned", a link to the story in the body, and a blockquoted excerpt of the first couple of paragraphs.

They'll appear up in Ten Second News and we'll have a place to discuss them and you guys won't have to worry if you look like you're trying to change the subject of whatever post you're commenting in into something that you'd rather discuss.

That's the conclusion I reached too.

It's easy for me to imagine someone doing the former.
It's difficult for me to imagine someone doing the latter.

(It's also interesting to imagine someone saying "I don't know" at this point and wondering where someone who is saying that they just don't know yet would fall when behind the voting booth curtain.)

I think the issue that you stumbled upon is that Trump’s supporters or apologists incorrectly see themselves as the victims.

This would be a stronger statement if you didn't put "incorrectly" in there. You're telegraphing your thumb being on the scale.

Jaybird seems to have sympathy for this group and view poking whether he admits it or not.

I certainly have enough to put effort into imagining what things would look like from their perspective.

My morality sees the ability to do this as "baseline" rather than evidence of Sin, though.

Jaybird sees liberals as the biggest hypocrites.

A certain subset, yes. The ones who go out into the public square and proclaim their righteousness seem to draw my eye the quickest.

So anything that says “gotcha” to a lib is good.

It depends on the type of hypocrisy that they're wallowing in, usually. There are a lot of "gotchas" that miss the mark. Those ought be avoided.

As counter-counter-arguments go, "you have a moral obligation to not make that counter-argument" is not a particularly strong one.

But, hey, maybe it'll work out in the field.

So the question is: why are we not a dictatorship yet?

There are a handful of ways to answer your question but here are a sampling:

1. You have made bad assumptions with your question.
2. Trump knows that the 2nd Amendment is still in effect and any attempt to jail journalists will have to happen after he passes gun laws (which he won't be able to do with a Republican Senate).
3. We are in a dictatorship and have been since the early 1900's and you're only now noticing.

I'm sure there are dozens more.

Well, at that point in the hypothetical, I hope it'd have been demonstrated that maybe "Look at how evil even our hypothetical examples of Trump make him look!" might not be as strong an argument to vote for such luminaries as Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar as we'd like them to be.

Maybe to the point where we'd change.

Are you seeing things from the viewpoint of that reporter, or that reporter’s loved ones?

I can easily see things from the perspective of the reporter and his loved ones. To the point where I can imagine watching the video I linked to and experiencing cognitive dissonance. I can easily see how the reporter would be hurt and how his loved ones would be outraged at Trump.

From the viewpoint of a parent whose child is ripped away and put in a cage?

Yeah, pretty easily. I have argued for immigration reform in these very comments! But it was when Obama was president so you probably wouldn't believe the pushback I got. (Arguments over whether Obama really deported more illegal immigrants than Bush *PER CAPITA* and the like.)

I wrote about my experiences with the immigration system and how Byzantine it is and how it needs to be reformed and it was noted as yet another complaint that libertarians make about the government.

From the viewpoint of a woman who has been groped or raped?

Oh, yeah. We've had discussion threads about the Shitty Media Men list in these comments as well as discussions about Weinstein and Epstein.

You might be surprised to hear that I got pushback on those opinions too.

You’re trying to tell us that there is an innocent explanation here, where reasonable people can disagree with Trump’s behavior.


But that itself is the moral choice I keep speaking about. You are choosing to take a stance of detached indifference to other people’s pain and suffering.

There's a lot of pain and suffering out there. The utility of pointing out how much sympathy you have for the people feeling it is more impressive to some than it is to others, though.

Don't see it as amorality. See it as an alien morality, one that you don't understand.

Or, hell, just come to the conclusion that I'm evil. It's all good.

I'm not merely trying to argue against Chip, Saul. I'm trying to demonstrate that it is possible to argue against Chip.

And you seem to have your mind absolutely blown that someone could possibly not agree with him.

To the point where you seem psychologically incapable of dealing with things on a factual level.

Chip, please understand. I was raised to be the guy handing out tracts at the beach. The whole "moral evil" argument thing is one that I see with some amount of fondness.

But I have antibodies against it.

Try arguing from a soft relativism, if you could. That might work better.

Against me, anyway.

I find that what I believe is uninteresting and, for the most part, trivial and obvious (indeed, I can't believe that half of my pushed-back comments get the pushback they do).

I'm more interesting in looking at a thing and seeing how many different ways it could be looked at, and seeing how changing my priors changes how I interpret what I'm seeing.

So when it comes to whether I believe that Trump has used the fumbling motions that he used to mock the reporter on people like Ted Cruz and whether he used it on Ted Cruz prior to the mockery of the reporter, I'd say that there seems to be video evidence of same.

Which allows for there to be multiple interpretations available.

Eh, I would probably point to a video like this one and say that there is room to argue that Trump wasn't mocking the disabled reporter but using a humorous fumbling that he has used against multiple people in the past.

And having that alternate explanation would allow people, in their own heads, to come to a conclusion similar to when they see the OK sign and jump to the conclusion that it was the circle game and not the White Supremacy symbol.

What would a “strong” Democratic field look like?

One that would have you say "look at this candidate and how good this candidate is" instead of "LOOK AT TRUMP! HE'S EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL!!!!!"

But that's just off the top of my head.

Would they bury Trump in a landslide?

In a landslide? Eh. I imagine that they'd be able to win a plurality in a majority of states and win a large enough number of electoral votes that you'd use the word "Mandate!", yeah.

Isn’t it a basic proposition that in a republican democracy, whoever wins the election can fairly be said to represent the will of the people?

Eh, not necessarily? I'd say that the fundamental proposition is that the guy who loses the election leaves the White House without much complaint.

I'd more argue that it's probably more accurate that a person who loses an election can be said to be farther from the will of the people than the person who actually doesn't lose it.

Doesn’t Trump represent the actual will of at least about 40% of Americans?

The actual will of at least about 40% of Americans? Eh, I'd say that he gets closer than the Democrats do.

The question is about the 20% between the two 40%s that could be persuaded either way. Who does a better job of communicating to these people that, "seriously, you'd better not vote for me"? (Oh, there are also regional issues, given the electoral college. But that's the gist.)

I hope that I answered your questions.

It's a post about the relative weakness of not only the Democratic field but the Democratic bench.

If your best play is *NOT* to say "Look at the moral fiber of our candidate! We've got someone that you won't have to pinch your nose to vote for!" but to say "LOOK AT TRUMP! HE'S EVIL! HE'S EEEEVIL! AND ANYONE WHO DOESN'T SEE THAT HE'S EVIL IS EVIL!", then I'd say that you're in trouble.

Iowa is 2 weeks away.

I'm one of those who believes that Biden is Biden is Biden is Biden. I mean, how different is Primary Biden from VP Biden?

As such, I'm going out on a limb and saying that Primary Biden is the same guy that Presidential Candidate Biden would be and, if President, the same guy that President Biden would be.

Something about multiculturalism and how you don't have a taste for it.

Why do you ask?

You inspired me to go to the twitters and check on #DraftBiden.

There are quite a few tweets using the hashtag. It's the responses that are most interesting, though.

I'm not sure how useful they are for getting a feel for 2020... given that Twitter's overlap with Biden supporters seems to be approximately "zilch" and I don't know that that number has changed significantly in the last 4 years.

Yeah, I'm looking at Iowa and New Hampshire and the way I'm gaming them out involves Biden not winning them but somehow holding the narrative through South Carolina and winning there and then picking up some "THE COMEBACK KID!" headlines.

But the problem is that every single journalist is on Twitter and they all follow each other.

Maybe the Editors still remember when you could get promoted from the mailroom.

They'd better.

I think I agree-ish with that, but I think about the lady in the elevator and then I thnk about Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin again.

You know what Biden's going to do? Campaign the ever-living crap out of there. And, get this, his message will play.

Add that to the intangibles and Biden wins.

But, yeah, I see how someone might look at Biden and say "man, a decade or two ago, he would have *SLAUGHTERED* Trump in this election".

Here's another thing for you to wonder about:

How difficult is it for you to imagine someone who says, publicly, "Trump should be removed!" and then, in private, goes on to vote for him?

How difficult is it for you to imagine someone who says, publicly, "Trump is awesome!" and then, privately, goes on to call his/her senator to demand impeachment and then, come election day, vote straight Blue?

Here's what I argued back in December 2003/January 2004: The democrats need to nominate Dick Gephardt. Here's the speech he can give: "I'd like to thank George Bush for being such a strong figure in the days that followed the horrible attacks on 9/11. He did a great job of bringing the country together. But now, due to Iraq, we are once again a divided country. I would like to bring the country back together, bring the troops home, maybe do something about health care, and just put us, as a society, back all facing the same problems rather than scowling at each other for partisan benefit."

And much like with Clinton's unofficial slogan of "it's the economy, stupid", we could have an unofficial slogan of "give the government back to the grown-ups."

As it is, the Democrats yelled "HOLD MY BEER" and then went on to say Hey guys! We know that Republicans hate draft-dodgers. We know that Bush was a draft-dodger... LET'S RUN A GUY WHO WAS A VIETNAM WAR HERO!

That's great! Let's do it!

Then the Republicans started playing the tapes of Kerry testifying at the Winter Soldier hearings and getting him to talk about throwing his medals onto the White House lawn. "I didn't throw *MY* medals", he explained. "I threw the medals of a guy next to me who couldn't throw his own. Because he was in a wheelchair."

And then were surprised that that didn't resonate with the American people.

Ah, well. Iowa is... what? In two weeks? How in the hell did that happen?

One of the main elephants in the room that *I* see is the whole "what happened last time?" question.

For, like, a *YEAR* we hammered out what happened with the election and there were two, count'em, *TWO* mistakes that I got The Usual Suspects on the board to actually admit were mistakes.

1. Okay, maybe Clinton should have campaigned in Wisconsin.
2. There were a handful of districts that Clinton won that also had Republican Congresscritters running unopposed. Maybe the democrats should have run someone in those districts.

I bring this up not because I delight in saying "I told you so" (though, I'll grant, it is kinda nice to be able to say that) but because if you can't see that mistakes were made with 20/20 hindsight, I doubt that you'll be able to see them as they're being made, again, in real time.

And based on nothing else, I'd have to say that I would bet money against the team that brags about how they don't believe that they made mistakes when they lost last time.

Multiculturalism is a real bear when it ain't the EPCOT variant, huh?

One of the main things I noticed following Obama's presidency was that there weren't that many Heavy Hitters. I realize, now, that I made the mistake of seeing Clinton making deals and DWS making deals as being co-extensive with there not being anyone to run...

But now I'm seeing a different dynamic.

A bunch of Democrats, for whatever reason, have said something to the effect of "I am sick of compromising. Screw compromising. You want you and me to agree? I'm down. All you have to do to end up in a state where you and I are in agreement is for you to change your mind."

Trump, by contrast, seems to have mastered some sort of messaging thing. Are you worried about the Culture War? Trump is your Conan. Are you worried about Judges? Trump is your FDR. Are you worried about tax cuts? Trump is your Kennedy. Are you worried about the military? Trump has meetings with enlisted guys and goes on to yell at the officers for being clueless. He yells at the *GENERALS*. Then he gets them funding and splits the Air Force in half and calls the smaller half "The Space Force".

Is Trump a compromise candidate anymore? The Free Trade kinda people are disappointed. Those have every reason to look at the Democratic candidates and go from "Okay, I could plug my nose and vote for this person" to "HOLY CRAP THIS IS EVEN WORSE!"

But the Democrats seem to have a bit of a "I don't want to compromise and you can't make me!" thing going on. We saw this with the NYT endorsement (which I don't see as an endorsement of Warren/Klobuchar as much as having the "I've got a bad feeling about this" feeling when I see that they couldn't get the Booker people to switch to Warren EVEN AFTER BOOKER DROPPED OUT).

And I don't see the "I'm sick of compromising for you... why don't you compromise for me?" dynamic going away without a Road To Damascus kinda moment.

Because why shouldn't I say that I think Booker would make the best president? Why shouldn't I say that I don't think Warren can win? Not because she's a woman, but because of the Indian thing, and the Republican thing, and the Bernie scorched earth thing, and the Massachusetts Liberal thing, and the

A counter-argument: But Republicans are bad.